John Jameson ’04 was raised in the suburbs a few miles from Princeton, in a neighborhood with lots of big houses that many parents worked long hours to pay for. As he grew up, Jameson remembers thinking that was not the way he wanted to live. When he and his wife, Lucy ’06, married in 2006, they agreed that “if we find ourselves working more hours than we want to support our lifestyle, we’ll change our lifestyle,” he says.
Jameson had taken a job at the University after graduating with a classics degree — he wanted to stay in town while Lucy finished college — and still works there, as a web developer for the Office of Communications. Their small ranch house in Princeton is perfectly situated — “work is a mile and a half this way, and church is a mile and a half that way,” he says.
They bought the house from an elderly couple — John describes it as “a little old fixer-upper” that was not much changed since the 1960s. The Jamesons set to work fixing it up — demolishing, painting, and spackling themselves — and John planted more than 50 kinds of flowers on the quarter-acre property. He uses a spreadsheet to track the blooming periods of each one.
In front, there are blueberry and elderberry bushes (gallons of berries are frozen for pancakes in the winter) next to green beans and broccoli, along with persimmon trees. In back, a flower garden attracts swallowtail and monarch butterflies for their daughters, who are 2 and 4. Lucy taught high-school physics after college and now is at home full time. “We hope I can continue to be a stay-at-home mom to care for our family, church, and neighborhood,” she says. Her husband adds, “We have a crushingly normal life. It’s wonderful.”